© 2013 by MICHELLE MATTHEWS

Michelle Matthews

Artist Statement

My practice is in a constant state of regeneration, in flux between fragility and endurance, form and process, a continual cycle of life and decay. Forming sculptures from clay, I construct works that respond to the spaces they inhabit taking cues from architectural details and historical references. Recent site-specific installations have intervened in historic churches, contemporary gallery spaces, gardens and unfinished warehouse structures. The ephemeral raw clay sculptures have multiple life cycles. I gather the clay from other clay studios, recondition and re-purpose it to build each installation. As one installation comes to an end, I break down its materials for the next iteration: this regeneration, reuse, a layering of both materials and ideas.

Revisiting my previous exploration of porcelain and an element of glass called frit, I create objects that challenge the functional ceramic tradition. In the tradition of the porcelain teacup, the cup is translucent, delicate but strong.  My mixture of porcelain and frit create abstract objects that combine the exploratory and site-specific aspects of my raw clay sculpture with a new emphasis on permanence. The individual porcelain objects are combined with found materials such as metal structures, Styrofoam, cloth and wire that create a support system, re-envisioning the individual objects into a cohesive space.